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Press Release

Colorado Big Game Outfitter Sentenced to Prison for Six Lacey Act Felonies

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Big game hunting outfitter Dennis Eugene Rodebaugh, 72, of Meeker, Colo., was sentenced in Denver today to 41 months in prison to be followed by three years supervised release for six felony counts of violating the Lacey Act, announced the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  District Judge Christine M. Arguello also sentenced Rodebaugh, to pay a $7,500 fine to the Lacey Act reward fund and $37,390 in restitution to the state of Colorado for the value of illegally taken elk and deer.    

Rodebaugh was found guilty by a jury in September 2012 of aiding and abetting six violations of the Lacey Act by providing outfitting and guiding services from salt-baited tree-stands between 2005 and 2007.  Beginning in 1988, Mr. Rodebaugh began offering multi-day elk and deer hunts to out-of-state clients on the White River National Forest through his outfitting business, called “D&S Guide and Outfitter,” for between $1,200 and $1,600.  

Rodebaugh's assistant guide, Brian Kunz, was also sentenced today.  He previously pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of violating the Lacey Act while working for Rodebaugh.  Based on his acceptance of responsibility and the government’s motion for downward departure based on his cooperation, the court sentenced Mr. Kunz to time served (one day) and one year of probation plus a $2,000 fine

Each spring and summer, Mr. Rodebaugh placed hundreds of pounds of salt as bait near the tree-stands from which his clients would hunt deer and elk with archery equipment. The placement and use of salt to aid in the taking of big game is unlawful in Colorado.  The interstate sale of big game outfitting and guiding services for the unlawful taking of big game with the aid of bait constitutes a violation of the Lacey Act.
This case was investigated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The case was prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney J. Ronald Sutcliffe and Trial Attorney Mark Romley, of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Updated April 3, 2024

Press Release Number: 13-196